Art, Animation & Film Analysis by James Chiang - RSS Feed

James Chiang's Weekly Blog for Creative Insight & Inspiration

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What’s Not Acceptable

“I don’t mean to say that I’m all these things, but I try. I got accused over the years of being a fine draftsman. Actually I don’t really draw that well. It’s just I don’t stop trying as quickly. I keep at it. I happen to have high standards and try to meet them. I… Continue reading →

Knowing vs Understanding

“I merely told stories at a temperature from experience.” — Kim Ki Duk, Filmmaker It’s all too easy to confuse knowledge — as it is commonly used today — with understanding. Often times, when I have lectured in schools or studios, or even to my private clientele, I’ll ask if the techniques shared with them… Continue reading →


What does it mean to live a meaningful life? This is the loaded question many of us try to avoid. Unfortunately, if we don’t think about it we’ll just keep going on repeating the same — like the rat in the wheel — chasing the inessentials until it’s too late to realize (or never realize)… Continue reading →


“To paint a still life, a painter and an apple must confront and adjust to each other.” ― Albert Camus As fall approaches, and the summer ending, we witness all around us subtle changes; the weather, the temperature, the look and feel of the sky, even our individual human temperments change. It reminds me of… Continue reading →


“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” — Carl Jung Here are some of my thoughts on perspective: Perspective isn’t just about camera angles, it’s about depth, form, volume, distance and scale. It’s also about confronting the unknown. Seeing the world from someone else’s perspective is the foundation for empathy. Your art also requires...

Being True to Yourself

“What you need is to free yourself from your own preconceived ideas about yourself.” — Robert Henri It’s not easy to be completely honest with oneself. Most of us don’t even try, and those who do, struggle immensely to do so. Why is it so hard to be truly genuine? Well, the harsh reality is… Continue reading →


“If a problem is too complex or overwhelming, then inertia takes over. When we don’t know what to do, we simply take the choice that’s already been made for us.” — Dr.  Jason Fung I love this quote above by Nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung. Although he’s referring specifically to eating habits and health — he’s… Continue reading →

Discarding the inessential

“Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself.” — Bruce Lee Listening to oneself, to one’s inner voice, is a very hard thing to do. In fact, it’s probably the most difficult battle the artist faces everyday — to align both the heart and mind in the same direction. The goal of the artists is always… Continue reading →

The Big Picture

“Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks down into the many.” — Chuang Tzu I remember this great moment from Steve Martin’s brilliantly written fantasty romance-comedy L.A. Story. It was the last scene of the movie, the hero has defeated all the odds, won the heart of the woman he loves and has… Continue reading →

Favorite Films: Animated Shorts

“I think that short films often contain an originality, a creative freedom, an energy and an invention that is inspiring and entertaining. I think they are, as Shakespeare put it, a good deed in a naughty world.” — Kenneth Branagh, Actor/Director I love animated short films. They really don’t get enough attention because there’s not… Continue reading...

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